Wednesday, January 30, 2019

surviving the polar vortex

Surreal days. It's the polar vortex out there, freezing, bitter winds, tons of snow, Torontonians huddled together at the streetcar stop trying to survive. You've gotta be tough to be Canadian, as I reminded my young friend Karim, who's from Jordan, today at the Y. He has been in Toronto for a few years but has never encountered cold like this. But - this is Canada, Karim, I said. For better or worse.

In the meantime, I am not feeling well, just generally dragged down and achey, sat in the sauna at the Y and came home. The house is full but not full enough - though Ed is still faithfully putting up drywall, Kevin has vanished once again to his other job, driving a snow plow. JM is upstairs measuring something meticulously, as he often does, and the electricians are all back because they discovered more old knob and tube wiring which needs to be removed at additional expense - so they are upstairs cutting into the freshly installed drywall. LOL.

Somebody is drilling or sawing with some loud instrument of pain. Between the weather and the renovation, the world is too much with me today. Definitely.

Here's a picture the electrician drew of what he's doing with the wires.
As you can imagine, I understand it perfectly.

But - despite the foot of snow on top of the bird feeder, the sparrows are clustered there. Last night's documentary on two famous American journalists was fascinating. I sent an essay yesterday to my new editor who sent it back today with lots of valuable comments - what a gift that is. I have two books waiting at the library and may venture out to get them, though God knows, there's plenty to read around here. And last night my dear friends Jason and Luis came for dinner and to give paint colour advice; two men with great taste, they brought sample books, and we went around looking at swatches. What do you think about a soft, pale, warm grey for the front hall and stairs? I think we have a winter. I mean winner.

And I got to the liquor store and bought four bottles of red; there's food in the fridge, the furnace works, Kevin just came back, and I have four bottles of wine and an essay to work on. Not to mention Netflix and tonight "Notes from the Inside", a documentary about a musician who takes his grand piano into a mental hospital. No complaints. I'm set.

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